Here in the breakdown we’re going to identify the games with the best fantasy scoring environments for everyday of the NHL season. To do this we’re going to look at teams’ scoring chances for (SCF), scoring chances against (SCA), high danger chances for (HDF), high danger chances against (HDA), power play opportunities (PPO) and power play opportunities against (PPOA). The reason for applying those stats to this particular exercise is because they are the best indicator of a team’s scoring opportunities and we want to identify games with teams that possess the best combination of quality and quantity of scoring opportunities. I’ll also offer some of my favorite individual plays from each game using average time on ice (ATOI), average power play time on ice (PPTOI) and team role. We’ll be looking for players on one of the top two scoring lines and players on one of a team’s power play units.
We have a massive 12 game slate tonight, with so many games and options to choose from identifying the games with the potential to go off and deliver the most offense will be crucial to your fantasy and betting success. On any given slate the majority of the top fantasy point producers can consolidate into just a few games and rewards those who correlated their lineups correctly, this is even more important on larger slates such as this one, getting the correct game stacks in your lineups and taking stronger stances on the players in those games gives you leverage over the field that is spreading out their exposure across their lineups. If you didn’t already see it I posted an after action review to go over how my breakdowns did last night and I’ll be posting one every night at the completion of each slate, to see what we got right and what we got wrong and what adjustments to make going forward.
Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers
Totals: Highest 7.5 DK 6.5 FD 6.5
As one of the last teams to start their season the Calgary Flames head to Edmonton to take on the fantasy friendly Oilers. Last year the Flames offered middling scoring chance statistics last season ranking 15th in SCF (655) and 13th in HDF (176), however combine that with the Oilers ranking 1st in SCA (818) and 3rd in HDA (223) last year we can expect plenty of opportunities for the Flames in tonight’s game. Making it more alluring is that it seems that the trend of Edmonton offering up plenty of chances to their opponents seems to be carrying over from last season since they gave up 15 scoring chances the other night to the Canucks, while putting up 25 scoring chances of their own. There should be plenty of power play opportunities in this game as well since the Flames ranked in the top ten in both PPO, 6th (175), and PPOA, 9th (172) and the Oilers ranked 9th in PPO (174). With the power play likely to play a substantial role in this game I like Rasmus Andersson ($5,000 DK, $4,000 FD) to be a key part of the Flames offensive attack, he averaged over 2 minutes of power play time a game (2:44) while splitting the top unit duties with Mark Giordano. With Giordano now in Seattle Andersson has the top unit all to himself in addition to playing on their top defensive pair. Another member of that power play unit is Elias Lindholm ($6,300 DK, $6,400 FD) averaging over 3 minutes of power play time (3:10) he also lead all Flames forwards in ATOI (19:54) while putting in on average 2:22 time on the penalty kill. Lindholm is a threat for multi point games and both the shots on goal bonus (5) and blocked shots bonus (3) every night. For the Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($4,700 DK, $6,300 FD) tends to be the forgotten man while Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are the stars that get the attention but RNH averaged over 20 minutes a game last year (20:46) and plays in every role for Edmonton evidenced by the 2:31 he played on the power play and 4:58 on the penalty kill against the Canucks.
Winnipeg Jets @ San Jose Sharks
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6 FD 6.5
After being surprisingly upset by the Ducks, 4-1, on Wednesday the Winnipeg Jets continue their trip through California with a visit to the shark tank to take on the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are playing their first game of the season and were a team offenses loved to play against last year ranking 5th in SCA (789), 1st in HDA (233) and 1st in PPOA (184), giving the Jets a great chance to get their offense going. Winnipeg put up 686 SCF last year good for 10th, and they managed 15 against the Ducks but just couldn’t finish enough of them. I expect the Jets to bounce back strong in this game and take advantage of a weak San Jose defense, pushing the pace of play and forcing the Sharks into a shootout. Jonathan Dahlen ($3,500 DK, N/A FD) is one of the young pieces on this team that the Sharks are going to be counting on to shoulder part of the offensive load. Unfortunately he’s not listed on FanDuel but he makes for an excellent play on Draftkings as he is expected to play on the top line and the number one power play unit. Andrew Copp ($4,200 DK, $3,900 FD) and Nikolaj Ehlers ($6,100 DK, $6,800 FD) make for great plays for the Winnipeg side of this game. They’re line mates and play on the power play together. Copp averaged 1:47 minutes on the power play in addition to averaging 2:02 minutes on the penalty kill last year and Ehlers scored 46 points in 47 games while averaging 1:40 minutes of power play time. I expect both of them to improve on the 1 combined shot on goal they had against Anaheim.
St. Louis Blues @ Colorado Avalanche
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
Coming off a 4-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night the Colorado Avalanche host the St. Louis Blues as they open their season. With Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog out it might seem like the Avs’ offense is going to struggle but going against the Blues who ranked 7th in SCA (724) and 9th in HDA (194) makes this a matchup we still can attack. Colorado also ranked 2nd in SCF (870), 2nd in HDF (235) and 1st in PPO (207) so there are still plenty of options to choose from to attack this porous Blues’ defense. Colorado looked the part Wednesday night as well, putting up 28 SCF and 14 HDF. I think the guy that is going to step up with MacKinnon and Landeskog out is Cale Makar ($6,800 DK, $6,800 FD). Makar is going to man the top defensive pair and the point position on the top power play unit and is more likely to jump into the rush with the Avs’ missing two of their top scoring options. I also think Andre Burakovsky ($5,300 DK, $5,400 FD) is going to see increased playing time on the power play over the 2:11 minutes he averaged last year especially after he saw 4:18 minutes against Chicago. On the Blues side of things I like a guy who just a couple seasons ago was considered one of the best snipers in the league, Vladimir Tarasenko ($4,700 DK, $7,000 FD). Tarasenko is drastically underpriced on Draftkings considering his ceiling and a role on the top power play unit.